Perhaps some important summary points in achieving balance and wellness is realizing what you are looking for, getting the tools you need to get there, using them, and inviting some along to share that journey. Although I haven’t climbed a mountain (I’ve scaled some scary, slippery rocks that were mountains to me, though) I picture me with a backpack, a walking stick, and a few others climbing to get to a vista we are proud to have arrived at. Below, I’m reflecting on one such experience that I’m very much in the middle of now which I call #mywellnessadventure which began sometime around the inaugural W.E.L.L. Summit in Boston in 2015. I’m an adventure blogger, and this is one of my adventures.
Two years ago, I got an email invitation to check out a wellness conference called the W.E.L.L. Summit. I had just barely begun regularly giving this blog some TLC, and was starting to engage with my own favorite bloggers around Boston on social media. As a perpetual student, I was firstly curious to learn something new, and secondly, I suppose there was an element of good timing that got me there, because I was open to try new things and have an adventure.
I wrote about what I was excited about attending here but didn’t revisit my highlights, which I will do now. I did yoga at 6 am with a view of the city with Sara DiVello author of Where in the OM am I?, learned about Ayurveda with Emily Griffin, cried with a group of people in Rebecca Casciano’s Sacred Beauty Salon, sat at a round table with Brandie Gilliam of Thoughtfully Magazine to think about my personal brand, listened to a panel on clean beauty with Kristen Arnett of Green Beauty Team and Tara Foley of Follain. We heard from organic beauty leaders, including Soapwalla founder, Rachel Winard, and the founders of vegan skincare brand Meow Meow Tweet (they make the deodorant we use) about their personal career and health transformations. I met Jolene Hart, writer of Eat Pretty, a guide to eating seasonally (I eventually got this pretty little book with ingredients by season + some recipes). I even ran into someone who lived in my husband’s neighborhood when he was a kid – serendipity has a way of bringing people together, hm? I discovered Nectar & Green and learned about what REAL almond milk is, had delicious chia pudding and fruits from Mother Juice, had juice from Thirst Juice Co, and basically became interested in local businesses and found a tribe of entrepreneurial-minded folks.
The awesome thing is that many of us are ALL growing and doing something new, better, and different, and have a community that we can ask for ideas and feedback from as well.
There were so many sessions I wanted to go to, and I shared my highlights before the conference in October. In NYC, I reconnected with friends I made the previous year and been in touch with, made new friends – including those in similar and very different professions to mine. I lunched with a beautiful soul – a movement and Brain Gym specialist- Kelsey Fox Bennett – who I had met the previous year, and ran into a fun lady and small business coach, Cyndie Spiegel who recognized my BlueBoots persona. I hung out with Amanda Light of Prim and Propah, and we are continuing to cultivate a friendship I’m very happy to have. I experienced my first session with Alyson Charles, Rockstar Shaman. I found out I shared a quirky old habit with Siobhan Connor, health editorial director at Times Magazine. She wrote No More Dirty Looks, an exposé on the cosmetics industry, who I liked instantly. I found new beauty brands at Part II of the Sacred Beauty Salon with the beautiful Rebecca Casciano <3.
For the scientifically-minded or healthcare professionals, Dr. Drew Ramsay spoke about food choice and brain foods. He is a nutritional psychiatrist, with a new course on eating to beat depression. Trying to eat the right seafoods? Try these.
We learned about social media tips, and authenticity from Ksenia Avdulova of Breakfast Criminals. I remind myself of her wisdom, as popular as she is, that even after she had the followers and popularity, she had to take action on her own #wellnessadventure to take care of herself and be true to who she was in the end. When I look and see I don’t have the 50,000 followers of others, I remind myself that I want to be who I am, and not try to be someone I’m not. I remind myself that I’m on this adventure to connect with people, share what I have to offer, and make the world a pleasant place within my hopefully expanding capacity. Jennifer Hanway actively engages with wellness folks in Boston as a holistic coach, shares her journey thoughtfully with others and is growing and doing new things to support fellow entrepreneurs!
At the Live W.E.L.L. Party, which is a marketplace of curated wellness brands and services, I found Sami of Connecticut-based Florapothecarie and the folks at New Jersey-based and ayurvedic-inspired (delicious!!!) Elements Truffles.
I was inspired to write my Wellness Tray Series here on Where the BlueBoots Go featuring them among other favorites in a self-care practice that I started doing! I discovered a non-toxic nail polish brand called Tenoverten and got my nails done at the pop up polish bar (which is coming back this year!).
There was so much more – this post will get really long if I keep writing, so for a little fun, check out the video recap and see if you can spot me in the 2016 W.E.L.L. Summit recap video – it was really well done by Thoughtfully Magazine! 🙂
I also met and won this smoothie book Clean Green Drinks from Candice Kumai – golden girl of wellness – because of a doodle I did during the session. I follow her on Insta as she creates recipes, lately, Japanese inspired.
YES. "A magnified happy is a possible experience" spoke to me from the chat with @candicekumai. Day 2 of #wellsummit16 is rich with messages for strengthening that are really speaking to me. 💙💙💙 This is the experience I want. What do you visualize yourself being, in your best version of yourself? Radiate gentleness, intention, happiness, wellness and truth – take a moment to do something that serves your inner happiness. #happiness #blessing #magnify #inspiration #yourvibeattractsyourtribe #yourvibeisyourtribe #mywellnessadventure
I’m a fan – I still watch your insta stories!
The beautiful thing is that if you extend a hand, you will get one back to help you along. There is an openness, willingness to connect (no “you can’t sit with us” vibes at all). It is fun, you learn about yourself. I doodle and take notes and chat and have alone time, and come away with a true mix of wellness, empowerment, learning, and luxury.
Luxury comes in many forms, like the teatime chats – it is like a luxe slumber party with tea and masks, and beauty treats. **Pro Tip: Definitely leave a half a carry on bag for the goodies you get.
This was last year’s haul – everything from a beverage canteen for hot or cold, pasta, snacks, to mascara, eye cream, soap, deodorant, scrubs and more. Gianne, the founder of W.E.L.L. Summit and Boston’s Best W.E.L.L.ness expert 2016 curates these incredible SWAG bags.
Check them out//beauty brands I was introduced to are linked:
Organic Bath Co (they have winning body butters + now have new candles and a sale via their Instagram!) // Eco Bella // EOV // Juicy Cloths // Aimee Raupp // Tenoverten (great shades of nontoxic polish to switch out your old ones) // KPS skincare by rocket scientists eye cream and renew face cream// Meow Meow Tweet baking soda free deodorant // Dr. Brite toothpaste // Hynt Beauty setting powder // Holly Beth Organics // Nubian Organics // Fit Glow Good Gloss (LOVE this gold gloss – tastes good too – some great makeup finds on Eco Diva Beauty) // Ilia Beauty
steaz cactus water // navitas naturals // banza chickpea pasta // rishi blueberry hibiscus tea // peeled // Nutzzo2go (PB pouches) // boxed water (no plastic bottles here) // energy squares // healthy human thermos // go macro bar
I’ve been becoming a more conscious consumer, purchasing thoughtfully, and found some new favorite ways to bring a nontoxic living into my home. I just checked out my friend Amanda’s blog and saw that Back to the Basics is going to be at this year’s summit – it looks like they want to make it easier to transition to a nontoxic lifestyle bit by bit (do you want something for gals? gents? household cleaning?), so I’m excited to see what else is in store! (Amanda is the community manager for the summit, so I go to her site to find news on what’s coming up!)
I'm packing up my presentation materials for a scientific talk I'm giving this afternoon in my #wellsummit16 tote, while listening to a meditation playlist. Today I'm grateful for a pleasant morning where I was able to nourish body and spirit, enough rest for today, and that I am choosing to set the course for my day with these little elements of self care. I will be sharing my wellness journey here and on the blog with #mywellnessadventure. I invite each of you to consider spreading your encouraging life practices here too with that #. Tag me @bluebootsgo or #bluebootsgo so I can see them and cheer you on! A big thanks again to @gianne_d and @wellsummit for an unforgettable immersion into #wellness which is not a one-off occurrence, but a step in the flow of taking better care of ourselves. #yourvibeattractsyourtribe #grateful #womeninscience #inspire #livethoughtfully #bewell #wellnesscommunity
The totes are printed with the saying #YourVibeAttractsYourTribe, and I’ve gotten stopped so many times on the street when I’ve innocently ported the bag by people who were inspired by the bag.
Live to inspire!
Does any of this resonate with you?
If you’re at a time in your life when you need a refresh, some inspiration, and are willing to try something new, I definitely recommend you give the W.E.L.L. Summit a try. It will be an oasis within the busyness of your life, and of NYC. Make it a fun trip – go see some sights – or come with your mom, your sister, your best friend, your significant other, and I really think you will come away feeling empowered (and pampered). It isn’t only for the ladies, by the way. I think it is special to experience it both as an individual or share it with someone you know.
The 2017 itinerary is now up as well, so you can see what the schedule is like and plan ahead.
Want to join me? Get your tickets to the W.E.L.L. Summit here.
I hope so! I know it is only July and you’re thinking, “how will I know what I’m doing in November??” Mark your calendar and check it out – to help, now until July 31, 2017 you can use either the code “BLUEBOOTSGO“ to save on your weekend ticket, or “BLUEBOOTSGOFRI“ to save on a Friday only ticket!
Come, come, come! Brit+Co covered this conference in an article last week and called it “life changing.”
Okay. That’s excitement enough, I know.
Have any questions? Send me a message here. Finally, let me know if you’re coming!